Serving writers, literary agents, and publishers since 1976








What are your submission procedures?

Follow the instructions at: http://www.manuscriptediting.com/submission.htm.


Do you edit both fiction and nonfiction?

I have extensive experience with both.


Do you accept all submissions?

It would be unethical to accept material that I feel cannot be improved with my input. I will always pass on the submission if I feel that I am not the best match for the material (or cannot meet your deadline). I may ask if youíd like a direct referral to a writing coach/mentor who could help you rewrite the material as you learn the craft, or I may ask your permission to forward your material to an editor(s) who might be a better match for your topic or time frame. Also, I donít edit sexually explicit, demonic, hateful, gay/lesbian, or anti-God material.


Is my submission confidential?



How long does it take to hear back from you?

I answer e-mail between 9 am and 9 pm weekdays (Central Time), and sporadically on weekends.


If I send you a chapter, will you provide a sample edit?

Only if I intend to consider your manuscript. If I turn down your manuscript, I will offer to put you in touch with editors who might be a better match for your material or time frame. The editors who accept your submission will provide a sample edit and price quote. When I do believe Iím the best editor for your project, I will perform a sample edit and provide a price quote usually within 24 hours (in other words, Iíll jump on it!).


Who are the other editors you might recommend?

I don't employ other editors, but I do network with about 50 other publishing professionals who offer similar or adjunct services. (See Book-Editing.com.)
For instance, Iím more likely to consider sci-fi or historical fiction projects. If you send me a Western or a romance, I may ask your permission to send your sample to a few editors who specialize in those genres. My intent is to match the writer with the best publishing professional for the job, and sometimes that editor is *not* me.


These are fellow freelancers, therefore your agreement/arrangement is with that editor/writer, not with me. The copy editors and proofreaders with whom I network have all passed my editing tests. I will usually send your sample to three editors so you can compare styles. The choice of editor is yours. Of course, you can decline my help and keep shopping the Internet.


If you accept my submission do you personally perform the editing or do you farm out the work to other editors?

If  I accept your submission I am your ONLY editor.


Can you work on my material right away?

Probably not. Professional editors with long track records and good reputations will have steady workloads. There are times, however, when a client reschedules and leaves a vacant spot on my calendar. My waiting list varies from 2 weeks to 2 years. Check with me and Iíll let you know my next opening.


Do you use an editing agreement / contract?

Yes. I use a simple, standard agreement that spells out the scope of the project, the cost, and schedule.


How do I get on your calendar?

I set appointments on a first-come, first-served basis. If we agree to work together, you must return the editing agreement and pay a deposit to secure your spot. You would then have your pick of available openings.


What is the turnaround time once you start?

I budget for about 25,000 words per week. A manuscript with 100k words will take about a month to complete. Editing is a slow, meticulous process.


How much will it cost?

I only charge by the word because too many factors can affect page count, such as font size, spacing, and margins. The price range is 3 to 8 cents per word. The rate depends on the level of editing required, the complexity of the material, and the turnaround time (rush projects are higher). My price is all-inclusive, meaning you will get a copy edit and critique/analysis for the same price. I cannot provide a price quote without seeing a sample.


All work is prepaid either in full or in installments. I will gladly work out payment arrangements so there is no financial hardship (details on request).


What are my payment options?

Paypal, wire transfer, money order, or check. If you use a check, funds must clear before work is started. If you use Paypal, your edited manuscript will be returned to you electronically (CD or memory stick) via the United States Postal Service, with tracking. This provides us with a record of completed delivery.


Will you edit my manuscript in exchange for a percent of profits?

No. The term for that is ďon specĒ (speculation). I donít know of any editor who will work on spec. It is basically asking the editor to work for free. Thereís no guarantee that a book will see a profit (or even be published).


Can I contact writers who have previously worked with you?

Sure. Some of my feedback is posted on this site. I will arrange for e-mail or phone contact, if requested.


Whatís the difference between developmental/substantive editing and copyediting?
Copy editors work with the writer to make sure that the material is clear, easy to read, and error-free. As a copy editor, I start from the small picture. I begin by analyzing words, sentences, and paragraphs as I work up to the big picture. During the ďfirst readĒ I deal mainly with English issues such as typos, grammatical errors, misspelled words, awkward sentence structure, and abrupt changes in point of view. The ďsecond readĒ is more content-based. I watch for problems with the big picture such as plot, pacing, consistency, lack of clarity, and characterization. Because Iím now familiar with the material from start to finish, I can focus on the workís form and purpose. In other words, the developmental edit is part of the second read.


Developmental/substantive editors go about things in the opposite order. They begin by reading the manuscript for the big picture (e.g., plot and character development). Most manuscripts are in need of major revision, so thereís no point in copyediting huge chunks of the manuscript that will be either deleted or altered. Their overall suggestions are made usually in a written report to the author rather than within the authorís copy, and the writer must figure out how to implement the suggestions. Some developmental editors will work with the author to rewrite parts or all of the manuscript.


What do I get back?

I perform all edits to the file with tracking, and my embedded comments and queries are placed at the exact spot where a problem is noted. You will receive a tracked file that shows my edits. You will also receive a clean file with all edits incorporated. Remember:  these are my suggestions. You may accept or override any/some/all of my edits. The final product is yours.


What are some steps an author can take to choose an editor?

An excellent article appeared on Ciao.co.uk (a consumer review site) under the category of "Literary Editors."  I have posted it on this site without alteration (and with the writer's permission).  Click Here.

What other information do you need to know?

What do you expect from the authors you work with?

Do you have a policy regarding use of your name in the acknowledgments / preface?

If you have accepted all my edits and the published book is the same as the file I sent you, then you may list me as editor. But please donít use my name if you changed or added material that I have not seen or edited.


Will you work with authors who have self-publishing in mind?

I will work with writers who intend to self-publish but only if they have writing talent and if the book interests me. I urge writers with talent and interesting material to consider the "traditional" route only.


Can you help with the submission process?

I network with publishing professionals who provide book design and layout services, book submission services, and book marketing services. I provide my clients with direct referrals to these specialists, if requested. I believe that each part of the process should be performed by the best person for the job. My talent/gift is copyediting, so I network with experts who pick up where I leave off.


Can you guarantee that my edited manuscript will be accepted by an agent or publisher?

Though I will assist you in making the manuscript presentable and error-free, I cannot guarantee representation or publication (no editor can, or should, make such a promise).

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Lynda Lotman
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